Obama Signing

Report: Chaos of Sony Response Prompts Creation of New Cyber Agency | The Washington Post

Obama Signing
President Obama will create a new agency to coordinate response to cyber attacks. Confusion following the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment helped galvanize support for the new agency.

In-brief: The Washington Post reports that the Obama Administration will announce the creation of a new agency to coordinate intelligence about cyber attacks. The move is, in part, a response to confusion following the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November. 

Ellen Nakashima over at The Washington Post reports today that the Obama administration will establish a new agency to coordinate the government’s response to cyberattacks.

[Read Security Ledger coverage of the hack of Sony Pictures here.]

Modeled on the National Counterterrorism Center, which was launched in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 to facilitate intelligence sharing across agencies. In this case, however, it was a decidedly less dire incident that prompted the creation of the new agency: the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Factions within the Obama Administration had advocated for the creation of the new Cyber agency to coordinate intelligence, led by Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. However, there was resistance both within the Administration and within key agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

The confusion that followed the destructive hack of Sony in November provided the final impetus, Monaco told the Post.

From the article:

“President Obama wanted to know the details. What was the impact? Who was behind it? Monaco called meetings of the key agencies involved in the investigation, including the FBI, the NSA and the CIA.

‘Okay, who do we think did this?’ she asked, according to one participant. ‘She got back six views.’ All pointed to North Korea, but they differed in the degree of certainty. The key gap: No one was responsible for an analysis that integrated all the agency views.”

Ultimately, the FBI was directed to “produce one” in coordination with other agencies, the Post notes.

The new agency will be part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to the Post.  It will begin with a staff of about 50 and a budget of $35 million, officials told the Post.

Obama will issue a memorandum creating the center, which does not yet have a formal name.

Read more via New agency to sniff out threats in cyberspace – The Washington Post.